27 July 2009


Spanks - 5

Director - Duncan Jones

Writer - Duncan Jones & Nathan Parker

Starring - Sam Rockwell & Kevin Spacey

Release Date - 12 June 2009 (Limited)

MPAA Rating - R

is the directorial debut of Duncan Jones, who just happens to be the son of David Bowie. The film is 99 percent one person, Sam Bell played by Sam Rockwell and his robot GERTY who is voiced by Kevin Spacey. The film follows Sam Bell who has two weeks left on his three year contract to mine helium-3 from the dark side of the moon. A problem with the communication satellite allows only recorded messages to be sent to and from Earth. From being by himself and isolated from everyone, Sam starts to see a woman on the station and on the lunar surface. Sam has an accident and wakes up back on the station under the care of GERTY. Things then don't add up for Sam as he starts seeing himself and hearing things. That is all I can say without spoilers.

The story is completely original, which is something you don't see much in movies these days. They are normally books, remakes or old movies (sometimes not even old movies) and comic book characters. Seeing something original always makes me happy. The film is also based on science and is not all science fiction, although we are many years away from harvesting helium-3 from the surface of The Moon.

Sam Rockwell's performance is awesome, you wouldn't think he was that great of an actor from his previous rolls. The effects used to create the lunar surface and to fake the gravity looked better than a lot of movies that have tens of millions of dollars (Moon's budget was about five million).

Since the film is in limited release, it might not be playing in your local theater. If you can't make it to one of the theaters it is screening in, definitely get it on DVD the week it gets release. You won't be disappointed. Click here for the list of theaters that are screening Moon.

25 July 2009

Public Enemies

Spanks - 3

Director - Michael Mann

Writer - Ronan Bennett, Michael Mann & Ann Biderman

Starring - Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Stephen Lang & Billy Crudup

Release Date - 1 July 09

MPAA Rating - R

Public Enemies is the latest film about John Dillinger. It takes place over a year of his life from when he broke his gang out of the Indiana State Prison right after he himself was paroled from prison until he is shot and killed by the FBI outside the Biograph Theater on July 23, 1934. Along with telling Dillinger's story, the film follows Melvin Purvis who was the FBI agent in charge of finding and arresting Dillinger and his gang.

The film is accurate in showing the downfall of each member of Dillinger's gang, but the time line of the deaths is out of order to make for a better screen story. The robbery scenes and the shootouts were shot well, but it could have used more of them. The rest of the film was very slow in the pacing, and I was bored at some parts. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale are great actors and portrayed their characters magnificently.

The filmmakers did a wonderful job recreating the 1930's with the cars, architecture, clothing, and props. In that way it was incorporated into the film. The picture was too clear and looked to me that it was shot with home video cameras. That took away the feeling of being in Dillinger's time. Period films should look more gritty and old, not perfect and crystal clear. That doesn't represent The Great Depression. It might look better on an HDTV than the huge movie screen, which is where you should watch this film anyway.

14 July 2009


Spanks - 4

Director - Larry Charles

Writer - Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer & Jeff Schaffer

Starring - Sacha Baron Cohen & Gustaf Hammarsten

Release Date - 10 July 2009

MPAA Rating - R

Brüno, the new film by Sacha Baron Cohen, is the same style as Borat. However instead of being a satire about racism it is about homophobia. It does not say anything bad about being gay or stereotype them in a bad light like G.L.A.D says. It shows the viewers how homophobic the American people are, using the extreme stereotypes in the character to make it more comical. If you think Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan pushes the boundary of taking things to far, Brüno takes that line and goes twice as far. Brüno went as far to have a group of people walk out yelling in disgust because of a scene*.

The film is shot documentary style and follows Brüno as he travels to Los Angeles to become a superstar after he is fired from his Austrian fashion show Funkyzeit mit Brüno. Accompanied only with his assistant's assistant Lutz, (who is secretly in love with Brüno) they set out to become a superstar.

The film is very funny, but it isn't like any other R rated movie. The film's first cut was originally rated NC-17 and was re-cut. There are an uncountable number of mentions to gay sex; there are scenes of naked men; scenes of exaggerated gay sex acts; but it is done for comedy and to get reactions from the unsuspecting people involved in the prank and not to be pornography.

* The scene people walked out of included a physic medium and the deceased half of Milli Vanilli. Rob Pilatus was his first of his two loves. Use your imagination.

09 July 2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Spanks - 3

Director - Michael Bay

Writer - Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman

Starring - Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Peter Cullen & Hugo Weaving

Release Date - 24 June 09

MPAA Rating - PG-13

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is your typical Michael Bay film. Little plot, crappy dialog, lots of explosions, and special effects. The film continues 2 years after the first film with the Autobots working with an international team of soldiers tracking down and capturing Decepticons. Also, Sam Witwicky is about to enter college and begin a normal college life, but that doesn't happen and Sam is pushed back into the Autobots/Decepticons War. Megatron wants information from Sam's brain that can save the Decepticons and win the war for them.

The film was entertaining, but a little long. They could have made it tighter, especially the third act. The desert battle looked great visually, but the action was very repetitive. Parts were set in the Philadelphia area, and it is always cool to see places you know in a film, even if the geography of it all is all wrong.

The special effects companies did an amazing job making giant robots look real and believable as if they belong as a part of the world and not cartoony and fake. My only problem was that they edited the movie quickly and the camera is always moving so you can't get a very good look at all their details like you could in the first installment. The sound design was also great, making robots sound alien.

The movie doesn't change my mind about Shia LaBeouf. He still is an annoying actor and I wish he would stop being cast. John Turturro is the comic relief of the film as he was in the first, and has the best character in the movie. Megan Fox is still hot, and they should just keep her and get rid of Shia.

Transformers is a good movie to see in the theater, even with the silly plot and bad acting. It just wont have the same feel to it at home, giant robots will just seem small on a television. Don't expect anything great, just lots of chases, fights, fire, load noises, and things blowing up. The special effects and sound design are the main reasons you would want to see it.